Aim for the Top 2! Diebuster

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Aim for the Top 2! Diebuster

The return of Hard Work and Guts
Original Manga N/A
Director/Artist Kazuya Tsurumaki
Format Anime (OVA)
Made By Gainax
Episode Length 27 minutes
# of Eps/Volumes 6


Drama, Mecha, Sci-Fi, Action, Magical Girl

Sum it up in a Sentence:

Watch Gunbuster first. A short, beautifully animated OVA that follow the story of Nono, a girl who wishes to become a space pilot through hard work and guts. The fight against the invading space monsters continues!

Main Description

Mankind is still not safe from space monsters.

Nono, a clumsy waitress living on Mars, dreams of becoming a space pilot. Seemingly stuck in a dead end, everything changes for her with she meets Lark. Lark, a member of the elite pilot team known as "Topless," had come to Mars to investigate the possibility of space monsters being there. Nono becomes enamored by Lark when she shows off her abilities, but there's no time for her to revel in it. An monster does indeed show up, and during the battle Lark (onboard her Buster Machine, Dix-Neuf) witnesses an amazing site: Nono is an android, and possesses unreal strength.

To further investigate, Lark has Nono brought before the other Topless. Nono hopes to prove herself and become a Buster Machine pilot herself, and thus the battle against the space monsters rages on. Through hard work and guts, Nono wishes to become a Nonoriri (something only she seems to know about) and help out Lark to whatever end takes them both.

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Also by Gainax, one being a prequel (Gunbuster) and one having the same director and animation style (FLCL):


Personal Opinions

Nate RFB

Released over the course of 2 years (2004-2006), Diebuster was one hell of a surprise. At first no one really knew what to think of it; a strange combination of super robots with FLCL animation, and no seemingly clear connection between itself and Gunbuster. It was hard to judge because it took so long to be released, and thus each episode being released was an event in of self. The end product though was something that truly felt rewarding to have waited for. The first three episodes serve primarily as the set up for the story, introducing characters and their ideals and personalities. The final three kick off the main story and could very well be some of the best anime episodes you'll ever see, especially if you're a fan of the original Gunbuster.

It's probably best not to compare the two, since they are different. At the time of Diebuster's release, I had come to a sort of crossroads with Gainax. They hadn't released anything that I liked, and even their "best work" post-Eva such as FLCL didn't jive with me either. I had no expectations of this either. What changed this perception was episode 4 of this. I won't describe it for sheer sake of it being a moment so spectacular, that spoiling it would be a crime itself. But I will say that if anyone is to give this OVA a chance, that they should watch it to that point. Any misgivings you'll have will be gratified and the realization that Gainax finally got their shit together will hit you. Nono is such a damn lovable character; if only half of the characters you find in anime had the heart, soul, and HARD WORK AND GUTS that she has. Nono is love, and so is this OVA.


Diebuster is a fine tribute to the spirit of the original Gunbuster, which I still personally prefer, but it clearly managed to establish an identity of its own, with new mecha and character designs that are somehow surprisingly appropriate for the needs of its story and cast. The experience is definitely more rewarding than what it seems to be on the surface, both in terms of action and emotional investment.


Diebuster is the "sequel" to Gunbuster. I use that term very loosely because outside of a few terms and a couple of plot elements the show is entirely different. It's nowhere near as well written as Gunbuster is, the main character is annoying and has a terrible voice actress, plot twists have no real emotional impact, the plot and themes are sloppy and all over the place, and the ending makes no sense even within the bullshit science logic that Gunbuster and Diebuster usually follow. Enokido really needs to find a different plot hook other than teenagers growing up.

That said, Diebuster can still be entertaining. The music and animation are both amazing, the mecha designs are cool, and the fight scenes are fun to watch. There isn't anything in here that nearly approaches the quality of Gunbuster, but that doesn't mean it isn't worth watching on its own merits, even if the story is a complete trainwreck.